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I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews

Review

''Thom Rainer has written more in behalf of the local church than any scholar I know. I Am A Church Member is a stellar example of such monographs, the perfect introduction for anyone serious about pleasing Jesus through responsible church membership. Fun, perceptive, challenging, and steeped in Scripture, I sincerely wish that every evangelical churchman would read-- and then practice this book.''
Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas 

''I am a Church Member is a great resource for both church leaders and church members. In a world obsessed with consumerism Dr. Rainer shows that, as a biblical church member, I am called to a greater commitment. I recommend that any church that takes belonging seriously consider giving a copy to every member.''
Geoff Surratt, Managing Director, Exponential

''As a church member I have the privilege to unite with the body of Christ in making an eternal difference through my giftedness in His service. Church membership is an honor, privilege, and joy. Where would I be without the fellowship, encouragement, and edifying of the church? I am so thankful to Thom Rainer for making that reality come alive in this book!''
Johnny Hunt, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia

''So much ink has been spilled to critique the church that it has almost become sport. Yet, I am confined that you cannot love Jesus and despise His wife, the Bride of Christ. Here, Thom Rainer offers a positive vision of healthy church membership and deep value for the Bride of Christ. There's a deficit of books like the one in your hands, a rare treasure for a generation deeply in need of a compelling vision for this community called church.''
Ed Stetzer, President of LifeWay Research

''Church membership is the shape of Christian discipleship. Wise, simple and sweet, practical and even piercing--this brief volume, if read and digested, helps us to follow Christ. It comes complete with questions to be considered and pledges to be made. Thom Rainer has written a book to instruct new members and to remind long-time members that true discipleship may sometimes be heroic; it must always be humble.''
Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, The Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC. President, 9Marks

''According to Thom Rainer, Church membership doesn't simply have privileges, it is a privilege. And I couldn't agree more. In I Am A Church Member Thom delivers a biblical perspective and practical approach to church membership. This little book is both refreshing and inspirational. I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend you pick it up!''
Andy Stanley, North Point Ministries

''One of the great privileges of my life is to pastor a local congregation of saints. Over the last decade I have seen first hand the fruits of those who understand the content of this book and don't just go to a church but belong to one. Dr. Rainer has served us all well in this book. He has wrung from the scriptures God's commands concerning the fullness of life found in Christ among his people in covenant faithfulness. If you love your church, are frustrated with your church, or don't understand why membership matters, I encourage you to pick this book up and read it.''
Matt Chandler, Edler, The Village Church --Review

About the Author

Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the largest Christian resource companies in the world. Also a respected pastor and researcher, he has written more than twenty books and coauthored the No. 1 best seller Simple Church. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons, several grandchildren, and live in Nashville, Tennessee.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: christianaudio; Unabridged edition (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610456874
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610456876
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.6 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (637 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Gibbs on April 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Many of us church members have lost the biblical understanding of what it means to be a part of the body of Christ, according to Thom Rainer in this book. We join our churches expecting others to serve us, to feed us, and to care for us; and we don't like the hypocrites in the church, but we fail to see our own hypocrisies.

The book is a journey of rediscovering the privilege and joy of church membership, a journey through six pledges which are about the joy of being last instead of first, the joy of being a unifier rather than a complainer, the joy of being a servant rather than being entitled. The six pledges are:

* To be a functioning member, giving cheerfully and abundantly, and serving without hesitation.
* To be a unifying church member, avoiding gossip and negative talk, and promoting forgiveness and unity.
* To avoid insisting on personal preferences and desires, and to put up with associated inconveniences.
* To pray for church leaders every day, including for protection and physical and mental health.
* To lead one's family to be healthy church members, worshipping together and praying together for the church.
* To treasure church membership as a gift, rather than treating it as a legalistic obligation.

The book is a very short one, at around 80 pages, easy to read and inexpensive. I found it quite inspiring, and by the end I was feeling eager to commit to a higher level of church membership. The problem with passivity in churches is usually diagnosed - probably correctly - as a leadership problem, but it is also a followership problem, and this book is a great way to open the eyes of ordinary believers to the importance of their role as fully participating members of the body.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the first book by Thom Rainer that I have read. In what I have discovered about him in general, but as a result of following his blog in particular, I have developed quite a bit of respect for him. His latest did not disappoint.

Published on April 14, 2013, I Am A Church Member is available in Kindle e-book or hardcover versions and it is just under 100 pages long. I read the book in Kindle form in less than 2 hours. It is easy to read, digest and sensitively but unashamedly addresses issues like gossip, a "what's in it for me" mindset, worship wars and more.

Rainer asks the reader to consider what he believes is a biblical attitude of church membership and how that differs from the culture's definition of membership. Unlike other books of this type, Rainer doesn't ignore Scripture but brings them forth alongside research and experience to offer a compelling description of what a church member is and should be and the difference that would make in our churches and thus in the culture as a whole. The pledges he ends each chapter with and includes in the back are a great reminder of what has been learned so that the reader can put them into action. In addition, each chapter ends with questions pertinent to that chapter's content.

With enthusiasm, I recommend I Am A Church Member. Useful for personal enrichment as well as a group Bible study or even as a resource for a pastor in discussing these important issues with the board or a small group or church setting, I am sure that if you purchase it, it will not go to waste. It is a must read for every church member.

This review also appears at: http://beacon2light.blogspot.com/2013/05/review-of-i-am-church-member-by-thom.html
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Format: Hardcover
I really wasn't impressed by this. I think the concept was a good one, but I don't like the way it was done. While he doesn't explicitly say that people should blindly go along with whatever is going on in their church, that is easily the message people could come away with from this book. In a perfect world, that would be safe to do, but this is anything but a perfect world. I think if you're going to be a church member, you should support one another and the church leadership, but you should never, ever abandon your own judgment. I've seen a lot of damage done when this occurs in real life. I agree with some point in the book, namely that people should be aware of what many pastors deal with in their positions, and that they should not be petty and demand their way all the time. Still, the back your church no matter what outlook disturbs me.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This book (presentation) reminded me of when I was a kid/teen and I heard various pastors emphasize the importance and necessity of wives submitting to their husbands. What about husbands loving their wives like Christ loved the Church? Yeah, yeah, a token remark was offered from time to time, but the clear emphasis was always on the wives.

Similarly, this book was just too imbalanced for me to derive much benefit from it. As a pastor myself, I would be embarrassed to give this book to the members of our church. As I listened to the book, I kept thinking, but what about the responsibilities of the pastors? What if he's an incapable and/or insensitive pastor (for whatever reason)? I realize I'm likely in the minority, but those are my observations.

UPDATE: As an excellent alternative, I do recommend Joshua Harris' book, WHY CHURCH MATTERS. I liked this book so much that I purchased 50 overstock copies (elsewhere) in order to give to every family in our church!
http://smile.amazon.com/Why-Church-Matters-Discovering-Family/dp/1601423845/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425924298&sr=8-1&keywords=why+church+matters
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